One out of every four Americans owns a digital “personal assistant.” From ordering an Uber to having the groceries delivered, all we have to do is ask out loud, and Alexa, Google, or Siri will take care of the rest.
Hey, Alexa! How popular is voice search?
Voice activated search is the new, rapidly growing frontier of human-digital interaction.
- There are more than one billion voice searches per month.
- 60% of people using voice search started in the last year.
- 47.3 million Americans own a smart speaker.
- 26% of smart speaker owners have used their device to make a purchase.
- 11.9% of those owners use it for purchases at least once a month.
It’s easier to use your voice than to type, and voice search allows people to multitask. Plus, who wants to fill out a long, cumbersome form on the internet when you can say, “Alexa, order me a Supreme pizza, hold the olives?”
How can you voice optimize your brand’s pages? Here are our top five suggestions:
1. Write natural language copy.
Paradoxically, that doesn’t mean to “write like you speak.”
Writing natural language copy involves asking and answering specific questions. You can use a tool like AnswerThePublic to find relevant questions for your article’s topic, form them into your H2 subheaders, and answer them in clear and concise text in the paragraphs below.
Also, to sound natural, the length of your key phrases needs to match the length of a voiced question or statement. You don’t want to be long-winded, but don’t be too abrupt either.
Finally, make sure your word choice and vocabulary imitate that of the age, region, and background your searchers likely come from.
2. Move your customers from voice to visual.
No matter how many people use voice search, shopping is not an auditory activity. It’s a visual one. You’ll need to create a direct link from voice search to a visual image by making voice and visual work together.
According to Ramona Soriano of Verbal+Visual, “AI opens doors for visual listening and expands to automated voice capabilities – consumers will now have the option to use a virtual assistant to assist them throughout the purchasing process.”
For example, shoppers could show Alexa a picture of a dress, and ask her to find another similar dress or locate matching accessories. In that way, voice and visual will become more integrated.
3. Structure your product descriptions to include every detail a customer needs to know right at the top.
Writing descriptions that simply describe your product or service is an easy mistake to make. But it’s still a mistake. Avoid it by writing with your ideal buyer in mind. Give him or her the most relevant information up front. Restrict your use of obvious words and phrases. And don’t forget to add all the sensory, superlative language you can without being ridiculous.
People will only listen to a robotic voice read a description for so long, even when an image may accompany it on a tiny screen. Make sure you use that brief window of time to your full advantage.
4. Optimize your site for both Alexa and Google.
Tech experts told HuffPo that they found Alexa to be better at performing tasks such as shutting off lights and ordering products. Google, however, had the superior device for answering questions. That’s probably because Alexa relies on Bing for its search tool while Google (unsurprisingly) uses Google.
Optimize your website for both search engines.
5. Get ultra-personal.
More customers are likely to use voice search for researching and reordering rather than for the first time they buy an item. Voice is a quick, snappy, and effective tool the searcher can use when he or she knows exactly the item desired.
Voice queries, therefore, are a great time to sell packages, product upgrades, warranties, and other upsells. You may get one shot at making a recommendation to a voice searcher. The more personalized your recommended product or improvement, the more likely your searcher is to buy it.
Okay Google, what are our final thoughts?
Voice search is changing the way brands communicate. Keeping abreast of how voice affects people’s purchasing behaviors is critical to the success of your brand online as the revolutionary changes continue to accelerate.